Paul addresses the issues of selfish ambition and arrogance in the letter that he wrote to the Philippian people. Apparently, these character flaws were negatively impacting spiritual life in the church body. Mistrust brought on by self-centeredness and unresolved conflict hampered the church’s ability to be united and of one spirit (2:2). Selfish ambition and arrogance are still negatively impacting the church today. I appreciate the fact that the Philippians had to read, hear and process Paul’s letter to the Philippians much in the way believers of today must do. Dr. Phil says it best. “We can’t change what we can’t acknowledge.”
Paul’s letters to the Philippians addressed the need for Holy thinking in Philippians 4:8.” Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” In the preceding chapters Paul stated certain faults that had come to light in the lives of Philippian believers. Paul calls out selfish ambition, conceit, and the fact that people were clearly focused on their own interests (2:3-4). I read an article called Thinking Faith that summed it up plainly, “arrogance and pride were spoiling the atmosphere in Philippian common life; they were no longer of the same mind, having the same love (2: 2).”
Sadly, I’ve been a part of a church divided due to the above stated reasons. It’s a devastating experience. Personal agendas, and an unwillingness to properly address sin caused major conflict. With prayer and repentance, the church body was able to overcome. However, relationships were damaged.
The work in this assignment is to continue thinking about how selfish ambition, pride and a lack of unity negatively impact believers and ultimately the church today. The news is full of stories around church scandal, and believers behaving badly. In the next week I want to have discussion around how much what we think impacts what we do. I also want to talk about how much the accountability and discipling support the sanctification process.